Light is projected on a screen by a projector, reaches a viewer’s eyes and creates an image in his or her mind.
In Paul Sharits’ work, green, red, yellow, pink…, grey frames are played in sequence one after another, creating a powerful flickering of color. While it is now almost 50 years old, the impact of this cinematic experiment has not faded in the slightest. This work compels us to acknowledge the primitive power of cinema as a medium with a persuasiveness that can almost be called physical. Sharits tried to make the viewer’s experience correspond to the film itself. Through the screen, viewers may in a sense be staring inside themselves.
Dutch filmmaker Joost Rekveld can be described as the newest artist in Sharits’ family line. Beginning with an interest in electronic musicians Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis, Rekveld, who then began to make films, expanded this interest to include robotic technology and the relationship between humanity and scientific technology. Attempting to understand human beings and the world they have created through machines – he has created a series of works in which he tries to share this experimental process with the audience.
In his THE PERVERT’S GUIDE TO IDEOLOGY, philosopher Slavoj Zizek uses the framework of famous films to conduct a humorous discussion of how images define our desires and shape our actions and beliefs. Zizek, who says, “we are responsible for our own dreams”, analyzes movies as mirrors that reflect our minds and hearts.
“To Jack. Light!” Filmmaker Paul Sharits addressed this message to a friend in 1967. In IFF 2015’s Special Program “Optical Dreams”, through what are described as “abstract films” we who live our everyday lives surrounded by images on all levels reexamine the power possessed by these images and the yet unexplored potential of cinema.